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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  1,115 ratings  ·  171 reviews
A thrilling new limited-edition hardcover concerning class and climate change from Arthur C. Clarke award-winning author Adrian Tchaikovsky.

Firewalkers are brave. Firewalkers are resourceful. Firewalkers are expendable.

The Earth is burning. Nothing can survive at the Anchor; not without water and power. But the ultra-rich, waiting for their ride off the dying Earth? They
ebook, 165 pages
Published May 12th 2020 by Rebellion Publishing
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,115 ratings  ·  171 reviews

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Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-shelf, sci-fi
The first review on GR! :)

I was pretty thrilled to get the copy on Netgalley. So much so that I had to read it the same day. Am I nuts? Or am I just a Firewalker at heart?

Gritty, depressing, and like a Hobbsian nightmare, these people live in a hothouse city on life support, barely kept alive because it is the base and the tether to the orbiting space station. Its people barely scrape by while the Roach Motel that takes in all the dignitaries and the rich are kept in Air Conditioned luxury.

Feb 13, 2021 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021-reads
I often say that novellas are tricky beasts, caught between the land of novels that really allow you to flesh out a story and short stories that allow for the perfect episodic feel. Novellas occupy that middle ground, where you need to find that Goldilocks sweet spot — with just enough story and characters that don’t suffocate under the demands of the shorter length. Tchaikovsky gets it pretty perfect here. It’s just well-developed enough and paced right, reading in the the end as a well-crafted ...more
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There can be little doubt that Adrian Tchaikovsky is among the most talented, creative and also versatile SFF authors of today.

In Firewalkers he crafts an utterly bleak world, devastated by runaway global warming that has rendered huge regions of the Earth uninhabitable desert, complete dead zones. The rich have packed up and left for space via space elevators stationed along the equator, taking much of the Earth's most valuable resources with them. Firewalkers are the brash young troubleshooter
Dawn C
Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Alright, my good man Tchaikovsky, I have no idea what the hell this was about. I partly blame the audio narration which has got to be one of the worst readings ever. It was shrill, hysterical and at times almost unintelligble. Sorry, Adjoa Andoh. I just don’t get the production choices made with this one at all.

Maybe I’ll read it one day to see if the experience is different. For now I’m going to gently place it back on the shelf and move on.
Feb 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If dystopian sci-fi floats your boat, you’re going to love this. This is climate porn at its best. Top-notch world-building, sympathetic characters and, after a bit of a slow start, a gritty and absorbing plot with plenty of clever twists and turns. A very satisfying ending too. Having read/listened to a number of Tchaikovsky’s novels, I’m amazed by his versatility as a writer. Every one of his books just seems so different from the last. Unfortunately, what lets this novella down slightly is th ...more
May 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't believe it's possible for fiction to be enthralling whilst also addressing urgent topical issues? Then let Mr Tchaikovsky prove you wrong in Firewalkers. Not only does it explore the links between class and climate change but it discusses capitalism and its issues, the vastly different lives of the rich and impoverished and the often brutal unfairness of life, all within the context of this compulsive standalone science fiction novella. Earth is now a post-apocalyptic wasteland due to sign ...more
3.5 stars

I'm swaying between 3 and 4 stars and I can't decide in witch direction I should go. So it stays without rating for the time being.
It is Adrian Tchaikovsky and so I have to compare it to his own works. When I look at his novels I rated 4 stars "Firewalkers" can't quite reach their quality in terms of structure and ingenuity.
But, well, it is Adrian Tchaikovsky - and this means that even with novels that are not his peak works he is still better than 90% of everything contemporary that's
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020-read, novella
I've given up trying to predict in advance what a new Adrian Tchaikovsky story will be about and what the world the story inhabits might look like. The only thing I know will be true is that it will be an imaginative and richly textured piece of work.

That's not to say everything he writes is a hit for me. I didn't care for Walking to Aldebaran (and I'm in the minority on that), but I loved Dogs of War. His novels Children of Time and the more recent Cage of Souls are both masterful works that, f
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
In a world ravaged by climate change a settlement at the base of a space elevator provides one of the few marginally habitable places for the remnants of humanity. The richest have already gone up the elevator and are waiting to go the stars, but the remnants struggle on Earth. For the most resourceful, clever and above all else, expendable, there's work to be had to go out into the uninhabitable terrain as a Firewalker. For the small group we follow, Mao, Lupé and Hotep, they'll get an opportun ...more
Feb 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had two principal effects on me. One was to make me really, really want to read Shadows of the Apt. Adrian Tchaikovsky’s been one of those people in the “I’ve heard his name, and I should get to him at some point, but really I’ve got so many books to read that if I’m being honest I probably never will” category, but after reading Firewalkers he’s getting bumped way up Mount Readmore.

The other thing this book did was really, really piss me off.

Let me start with the premise. This is a dy
Hélène Louise
A very good novel in a young adult science-fiction after post apocalyptic scenery.
I appreciated that the post apocalyptic aspect wasn't too much moralising, letting the place for the story to unfold and expand, as an inventive and rather creepy tale!
I also loved the three main characters, each one has a credible and nuance personality, without tiresome stereotype. The psychology was sane and believable.
A very good story, with characters in 3D a strong atmosphere - as in all the author's books I'
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novellas
This was my first Adrian Tchaikovsky book. Multiple friends have been raving about his writing; so I've been eager to read his books. I had planned on starting with his award-winning Children of Time, but then I decided to focus on a project of reading 2020 published books only until the next Hugos. So I put Children of Time on hold for now.

I've been told that this book is not his best work and considered merely decent by Tchaikovsky fans, but it was the first to arrive from the library for me
Manuel Antão
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Atrocious Execution: "Firewalkers" by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Tchaikovsky’s work is all much hit and miss for me (lately more miss than hit). I should have ignored every single blurb I read: in books like these the great the good fall over themselves with superlatives and the words have long since lost any real meaning. Far more worrying is the fact that a lot of dross is still being published. I won’t list here all the books I have read fro
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is my second read by the author. Previously I’ve tried another of the relatively slender Solaris published books of his, Walking to Aldebaran, and was thoroughly underwhelmed. I figured I’ll give the author another try, after all he seems to be so popular and well liked by so many readers. But having just revisited that review of mine, I must say this just isn’t for me. The complaints in fact are exactly the same. The books are technically good, imaginative, conceptually inviting…but the ex ...more
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Every time I read a story by this author, I know I’m getting something interesting, and usually a new interpretation of our future. I’ve enjoyed his many what-if scenarios so far, and this time, we get a future where the majority of humans (or what’s left of them) live precarious, short lives on earth at the mercy of increasingly inhospitable climates. The setting is Ankara, which is the site of one of the world’s space elevators, to which a space ship is tethered at its top. The rich, naturally ...more
Apr 06, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, arcs, uno-2020
Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

This was my first read from this prolific SFF author and good enough that I am looking forward to reading more from him in the future, but also hopeful that this is not a representation of some of his best work.

Overall I did enjoy this short book. The story was well paced and well written with distinct characters that had no problem holding my attention. The landscape and plot both pained a future that w
Wes Spence
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what an ending.

This was an appropriate time for this book to come out, the world is changing, I can feel it, and a cautionary tale is always welcome as a "wake-up" to pay attention to the environment around us.

Climate change is here, and if we don't do anything about it, this book could be our future!
Liam || Books 'n Beards
Tchaikovsky has this ability to seemingly effortlessly pump out supremely interesting and unique science fiction.

I really loved FIREWALKERS! I bought it a few months ago because a few folks in the SpecFic Buddy Reads group were reading it, and because I stan for Adrian - also Book Depository were selling signed copies, and I'm a sucker.

FIREWALKERS is set on a future Earth where (presumably global warming?) has resulted in the planet heating up and a growing band around the equator turning into t
3.8 / 5 ✪

I was kindly provided an advance-copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Solaris Books and Rebellion for the ARC! All opinions are my own.

The second Tchaikovsky novella in two years, Firewalkers features a cast entirely too young to drink, but old enough to wander the post-apocalyptic wastes of the world, fighting and dying for nothing more exotic to us than A/C. Hitting the shelves next week, most of us will be forced to
Oct 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was SO COOL!!!
May 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating:4.3/5

What can I say, Adrian Tchaikovsky knows how to write Sci-Fi. Bruh!

This world he created is so frigging bleak and yet it's so beautiful.

I don't like comparing authors or books, but I can help remembering the fact that I read a book that shared a few similarities to the premise of the book a couple of months ago.

Yet, in terms of execution, they are truly worlds apart.

My only gripe with this story is that I really wanted it to be longer and I wanted to immerse myself more in
Peter Baran
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a brief and somewhat depressingly plausible morality tale set just before the end of the world, and its peppily picaresque adventure style ends up being a little at odds with is black as coal denouement. But that is the end of the world for you. And here we are in the hot zone. Regular tropes are set up for the start - a Space Elevator, on the equator, a climate ravaged society. In space the escape generation ship full of the rich arseholes, what's left of a support system eeking out a l ...more
Nicole Sweeney
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review originally posted on The Bibliophile Chronicles.

Firewalkers is the bleak and harrowing tale of a world in which Earth is burning, with very little water left. Very little is able to survive, but the rich are able to ascend to ships that have everything they could ever need. While they wait they remain at the luxurious hotel, able to buy water and live and peace. Mao and his team of Firewalkers are tasked with ensuring the solar panels continue to function, to keep the rich people happy. B
Kriti | Armed with A Book
This book has a nice commentary on AI and climate change and humanity. Full review coming soon. Thank you Nerd Daily and publisher for the review copy.
This is a hard book to review because, while I think it was well-written and spotlights some very relevant issues, I wouldn't say I enjoyed it - it was just too damn grim (not to mention creepy in places)

As the book opens, climate change has done, and is continuing to do, its thing. The world has heated up and dried out, especially around the equator. The rich have built themselves a kind of Noah's ark ship above the dying planet where they can continue to live in luxury, while everyone else has
Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novella is set on a near-apocalypse Earth, where climate change and natural disaster has forced the lucky rich onto a safety raft: the Celeste spaceship.

But Firewalkers takes place on the ground, following Mao, Hotep and Lupé on a job to find out why the power in their ramshackle town is failing.

I was reminded of Elysium and Mad Max while reading this. The well-explained context, distinguishable characters and Afrikaans slang made it easily immersive. The story lost me a little when it took
May 28, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad? But I feel let down by the ending. If I hadn't already read stuff by this author (eg: Children of Time) and been *blown* away, this probably could have wangle jangled that 4th stare. Not so, knowing the author is capable of much more.

Overall it was a decent read. I don't dispute it's future look at the world and it's climate, or the impact on (effectively) migrants/migrant workers. It's more the ending arc (you'll know what I mean) that was disappointing and hand wavy. For all that, qui
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sadly this was fairly average , it didnt leave me wow'd or interested in the story at the end. Everything that seems to happen in the book aside from the ending of the book almost feels like a given. Nothing was uniquely interesting in the story, added to the fact that the book is pretty short I do feel like was not a great investment in my reading time. ...more
Alex Sarll
So I think that's two novels Tchaikovsky has out in May, never mind the rest of the year. This is the fifth I've read from him – so approximately 2% of his output – and the closest to what was briefly called mundane SF; no far futures or distant worlds, no fiddling with the laws of physics as currently and commonly understood. Just a glimpse a few years into the future, which inevitably is not pretty. The rich are heading up the space elevators to orbital cruise liners, but this is a story of th ...more
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first started reading Adrian Tchaikovsky's work with Children of Time. What I found is I really like his type of almost optimistic view of post apocalypse humanity. In Firewalkers he tells a story of those who left on Earth as it's dying.

Firewalkers is a good, if short, tale of how humanity struggles to survive as well as all the un-intended consequences to actions. Tchaikovsky works to quickly flesh out the characters and give a somewhat limited world view, which is all the main character kn
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ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY was born in Lincolnshire and studied zoology and psychology at Reading, before practising law in Leeds. He is a keen live role-player and occasional amateur actor and is trained in stage-fighting. His literary influences include Gene Wolfe, Mervyn Peake, China Miéville, Mary Gently, Steven Erikson, Naomi Novak, Scott Lynch and Alan Campbell.

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Why not focus on some serious family drama? Not yours, of course, but a fictional family whose story you can follow through the generations of...
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“They warned that we would become all-powerful dictators, able to destroy countless lives without blinking because we were too far removed from humanity to consider lesser beings as anything other than resources, or an obstacle to achieving our goals," Aime-Li recited, in mocking sing-song tone. "Those vastly wealthy men said that AIs might seize control of the world and do what they wanted, heedless of the needs, safety or rights of the run of humanity."
"Sounds like you've got it down."
"Didn't it ever occur to you that they were describing themselves?”
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